The Government of The Bahamas will develop multi-purpose community centers in phased action in a number of the Over-The-Hill Communities to help address a number of social challenges facing residents living in those communities. The facilities will be expanded in phases to include space for churches and other civic organizations to provide on the ground counseling services within the community for residents; proper basketball, volleyball and netball facilities, and finally tennis courts and swimming pools. The move is part of the Minnis Administration’s plans to improve the inner cities of New Providence as part of the Over-the-Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative.
Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis said the development of community centers in the inner cities should positively impact those communities – particularly when it comes to addressing the needs of single parents, the elderly and the youth. “Many of our births within this country (67 percent) are to a single parent – including myself,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “Many of our mothers refuse to take jobs because they have nowhere to leave their children. We will ensure that we have a multi-purpose community center with proper daycare facilities so that as you go to your jobs you can leave your kids within an environment that will not only change diapers but one that will also provide instruction for them. “The multi-purpose facility will also boast facilities for the care of the elderly so that your parents and grandparents whom you may not necessarily want to leave at home (while at work), can be left in proper facilities where they are cared for.”
Prime Minister Minnis said the multi-purpose community center will also have facilities for counseling so that the churches and other civic organizations will have proper facilities to offer counseling assistance, be it conflict resolution “and/or whatever is necessary.” “As we expand the facility in Phases, we will introduce proper basketball, volleyball and netball facilities, and finally tennis courts and swimming pools. “Many of you will be very shocked to learn the number of individuals who live in the inner-city who cannot swim. That should not be the case in today’s world. They should have proper swimming pools so that they can learn to swim properly so that one day we can have someone coming from the inner city who will not only represent us at the Olympics, but hopefully become an Olympic medalist or Olympic champion,” Prime Minister Minnis added.
Officials of the Economic Development and Planning Unit of the Office of the Prime Minister held a Town Meeting Thursday, December 14, 2017, at the Grants Town Wesley Methodist Church to launch Phase One of the Initiative that will focus on the Bain and Grants Town and Centreville communities. Statistics show that the two are the most impoverished communities within New Providence. (Prime Minister Minnis addressed the launch.) Phase Two of the Initiative will focus on the communities of St. Barnabas and Englerston, ranked third and fourth according to statistics provided by the Department of Statistics through its 2010 Census.